A Helpful Word in Preparation of the Study
“What you do in your private time is nobody’s business but your own. But for goodness’ sake, clean yourself up and act like a Christian when in the presence of other believers.”
– J.C. Ryle
“Ask not what you can do for your church. Ask what your church can do for you.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“… Before you can possibly work yourself up to that level of spiritual cunning and brilliance, you need to start with the basics, and that means joining a small group that meets at someone’s home. You can only fly under the radar and hang out with Christians on an unofficial basis for so long before the church will drag you into these smaller, more intimate gatherings. Again, there’s really no way around it, so just stiffen that upper lip and take care of business… If you want to be a good Christian, a small group is an absolute must…
“While you want to join such a group in order to appear spiritual, you also want to minimize your attendance so your spirituality points go up while you do absolutely nothing. It s a careful balancing act. As the start time for the small group meeting looms closer and closer each week, begin looking for possible excuses to miss it. Is there the faintest outline of a cloud on the horizon? Say you’re going to stay home due to the impending inclement weather. Want to go to a midweek sporting event instead? Say you’re taking a break this week in order to “spend some time with the Lord” (uttering a prayer for your favorite baseball team at the game totally counts!). The key is to come up with the most spiritual-sounding justifications to avoid genuine connection while still blessing the group with your presence on occasion to keep up appearances.
“Be careful, however. By actually getting up close and personal with other Christians, who are undoubtedly much further from Christlikeness than you are, you run the risk of making an actual friend who wants to hang out or grab a coffee or even meet up for discipleship. You attend group one too many times this year, and someone is inevitably going to break into the discipleship danger zone. While this is a very serious situation, as it can cause your carefully constructed facade of Christianity to come crumbling down, you can leverage it to your advantage and come out looking even holier than before.
“Don’t worry! We’re here to help you navigate these tricky waters. If you do ever end up getting dragged to coffee, dinner, or—shudder—a one-on-one Bible study with a friend from church, do not panic. We can help you with that. It is of the utmost importance that you never allow any conversations to go beyond surface level. Keep your fellow believers at arms length. You must prevent any kind of genuine connection at any cost.”
Lyrics & Chord Sheets
For the “Praise” section of each lesson, we look at a song from the WEPC Doxology Album. As a resource to you, here is a link to the lyrics for each of the songs.
Chord Sheets are also available. If you would like them, please contact Tiffanie Chan.
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